Tuesday 6 May 2014

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Maybe I Should Get A Hobby...

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Maybe I Should Get A Hobby...

When you spend as much time as I do thinking about death, robbery, assaults and other assorted criminal enterprises, you start to wonder if it's "normal". The short answer is that no, it's probably not, but then again, when you have a somewhat healthy outlet for those thoughts, is it really that big a problem? I know what you're thinking, acting out any kind of crime that involves hurting someone else is not healthy no matter how you do it, but for a crime and mystery writer, it's the best way I have so I'm gonna stick with it.

I know I'm not alone in this because there are many other crime writers (and even people who aren't) who sit at home and think up ways to kidnap people, hold them hostage, possibly kill them and get away with it. I know that just because I'm not alone doesn't mean I don't have a problem, but for the moment I'm okay with that. While I would never really kidnap someone and play out my fictional story lines, people pay good money to read about them, so I guess it's more the human race that's unhealthy and not just me!

However, I do think sometimes that maybe I should channel my creative forces into something a bit more productive - like cross stitching or scrap-booking. I do play a little Ukulele and I do cross stitch too, but the majority of my life is taken up with either writing, thinking about writing or doing the admin work that comes from being an indie author. (That's a piece for another day!) I find that because of my health conditions, and the debilitating pain and fatigue I experience on a daily basis, I just don't have the energy to do hobbies, uni work and keep up with my writing. I know that it's probably not all that healthy to focus on the two important ones - uni work and writing - but thankfully, I'll be graduating from uni after five years in October and will have my degree. I figure once I'm done, I'll have all the time in the world to write and be able to spend time on less murderous activities.

That's not to say that I don't love what I do, I honestly don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't a writer. After being retired at nineteen and told that I would probably never be well enough to work in a conventional nine-to-five job again, I turned to writing to fill my "retirement" years. At thirty-two now and no better health wise (actually, I'm worse but that's a story for another time), I have found that my time is closely monitored to make sure that I get my required rest time as well as do the best I can do with my writing. I do like to do the occasional cross-stitch and I also love to read during the times I'm not well enough to work. That's another hobby I suppose. I spend a lot of time reading books by fellow indie authors as well as many traditionally published authors too. I like to lose myself between the pages of someone else's worlds, characters and adventures and while I mostly read crime and mystery, I have been known to go for something a little more light-hearted.

When you're a crime junkie like me, you'll find that you see inspiration everywhere. You read a news report about someone faking their own death and you wonder about how you can weave a similar crime into your own work. Same with many other aspects of everyday life. There have been numerous conversations I've had with people that have found their way, in some form or another, into my work. The human condition is that crime happens, the writer's condition is that you see inspiration in everyday life and you use it for the greater good. I'm sure many other writer's will agree with me when I say that although hobbies such as making cards or crafts would be a better use of our creative talent, they just don't do it for us. Our creative flow needs to be in the written word; basically, we're word nerds and proud of it. But maybe I will look into a hobby...

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